Annapolis’ Alice Cain is resigning her seat in the Maryland House of Delegates, citing unforeseen family circumstances, effective immediately.
The decision, she said Thursday morning, was “gut-wrenching.”
Cain, a first-term Democrat, honed her background as an educator to focus on education policy during her two years in Annapolis — most recently contributing seven successful amendments to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which passed both houses bays before Sine Die.
So although she is sad to leave her post, she said, “I do feel like I did what I came here to do, which was to make a difference in that law.”
Cain declined to offer details of the family circumstances, citing privacy concerns.
She turned her letter of resignation in to Speaker of the House Adrienne A. Jones Wednesday night after the House adjourned Sine Die — a session cut short for the first time since the Civil War because of concerns surrounding the spreading coronavirus pandemic.
As soon as her resignation is accepted, it will be up to the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee to nominate her replacement. The process involves an application, lengthy interviews and a public comment period.
Once the group has settled on their pick, the nomination will be sent to Gov. Larry Hogan for approval.
Cain said she hopes her immediate resignation after Sine Die will allow the committee and the governor time to find a replacement before the legislature reconvenes for a special session in the end of May.
Until then, her staff will be staying on to work with Cain’s district mates Del. Shaneka Henson and Sen. Sarah Elfreth on serving the constituency.
Both Henson and Elfreth said the delegate accomplishes much in her shortened term.
In addition to her contributions to the bill enacting Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, Cain pushed for support for pregnant and parenting students, grant funding for bilingual pre-kindergarten, and supporting students with disabilities at community colleges across the state.
Some of her bills passed but many were left behind with hundreds of others when the session was unexpectedly cut short. Her one wish for her two district mates next session: Reintroduce all her bills that didn’t make it through
The three worked well together and shared many of the same goals, Cain said, so she’s hopeful her efforts won’t be lost.
Maryland Policy & Politics
“It (will be) hard to find someone who will be equal and having a desire to make sure that they get it right on behalf of the residents of District 30A, and on behalf of the children of Maryland, because that's a true passion of Delegate Cain,” Henson said. “It's not just something she did in terms of legislation.”
Henson, who was appointed to serve by Gov. Larry Hogan last summer to replace the late Mike Busch, said she missed the chance to work closely with the longtime speaker of the House and Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. Mike Miller. But she counts herself lucky to have served alongside Cain.
“There are people who have had great impact on public policy whose ability to do that I kind of just missed,” Henson said. “She is one of those people whose time was brief, but her impact will be long-lasting. I’m glad that I got the ability to work alongside somebody who has crafted policy that is certainly going to be around to impact generations to come.”
In her resignation letter, Cain said she would continue to serve the district and support her colleagues in the Anne Arundel County Delegation.
She said the decision to step down was difficult, but, “My family needs me in ways that were unforeseen when I launched my campaign, and it is time for me to turn my focus back to them in a way that is necessary – and that serving in the legislature simply does not allow.”
Henson and Elfreth were both supportive of her decision to support her family in unfortunate circumstances.
“I think especially at this time in the world and in our community family has to come first and I think that’s exactly what led to her decision,” Elfreth said. “Everybody would have made the same decision and I respect it quite a bit.”